These past 2 months working at The Ark and attending the classes presented by the various Health Professionals has reminded me that I need to practice what I preach. Such as I’ve done in the past, my diet seems to always evolve to fit those around me. When I got married I started slacking off on taking care of my body. Wanting to take care and please Damon, I began to eat things that I had since omitted from my diet. At first I was eating very little of these foods but now looking back 10 months now I am far from where I began. I’ve been consuming large quantities of junk food – but they’re all vegan. I’d quiet my conscious by telling myself that. Nevermind all the chemicals and oils that are in the foods. Nevermind that those things are just as bad if not worse than some of the animal products!
In the beginning I was juicing 3-4 times a week, having green smoothies, and large quantities of raw vegetables. I was feeling fantastic, my skin looked great, and my body was getting fitter as I exercised more and more. Now? I’m feeling sluggish, my skin is breaking out like crazy, and I’m not eating much in the plant kingdom – I’m living off a few good grains and mostly packaged foods (chips, cereal, vegan ice cream). As a result my sugar intake has been astronomical and I am craving food all the time. I’ve been asking myself What is wrong with me! How did I allow myself to get here? I’ve been beating myself up and saying how can you be the health leader in your church? You’re a fake! But God is so merciful. In January I received a brochure for the NAD Health Summit being held down in NYC but for various reasons I wasn’t able to go. So I went online to look up some of the speakers from the summit and found the entire 2011 summit in podcast form! Ever since I’ve been listening to the files and have been amazed at the things I’m learning. Some of it I have heard before but never presented in a Biblical format. We beat ourselves up thinking we should have the willpower, the self control but we don’t realize all the facts at play in the body and the brain that has led us to our current condition. Most of all we don’t realize that the power to change ultimately come from God.
For me I am a food addict. I think of food all the time. At breakfast I’m thinking about what I’m going to eat for lunch. At lunch I’m planning dinner, and then after dinner I’m wanting to get to bed quickly so that breakfast can come faster. And sleep provides no respite – I dream of food! How many of you have had that dream where you stand before a table of your favorite foods and you’re trying to think of how you can eat some of everything without anyone seeing you?
I know that I’m not alone in this. At every single job I’ve had there is always talk of food. I’d get into the office around 8:30 and by 10am the food talk would begin – what did you bring for lunch? Do we want to order take out? What do you feel like eating today? We then would talk about what we had for dinner last night and plan get-togethers around going out to eat. Just look at the explosion of food blogs on the web. I used to be fixated on a few of these sites. I’d spend hours watching cooking shows on youtube and copying down their recipes. Always looking for a way to make them healthy if I could, but if not I’d tell myself I will only make it for a “special occasion”.
Now there’s nothing wrong with enjoying food. God created us with taste buds so obviously He meant for it to be enjoyable to eat. The problem comes when it consumes you. When your whole life revolves around it. That had been me my entire life (as far back as I can remember) but I no longer despair. I know there is hope. I’ve experienced a time in my life when food was not controlling me. I want to get back to that place and now I am learning the why’s and how’s of this addiction.
Book Excerpt from “Living Free: Finding freedom from habits that hurt.”
The “Junk Food Junkie”, who doesn’t know one? We all have heard people who laughingly refer to themselves as “junk food junkies” as they dip into a plate of brownies for the third time at a party. But for many it is no joke, many food addicts have a Jekyll and Hyde relationship with food.
Although separate disorders, obesity and food addictions are overlapping and related. Charles Billington (a professor of medicine and the former president of the North American Association for the Study of Obesity) believes that many have become “habituated” to the consumption of high calorie refined foods. “As we develop full understanding of neuro-regulation of appetite, I think the addictive nature of foods will come clear. And I think we will learn that these addictions can develop at various stages of life, in adulthood as well as in childhood. And I think we will learn that they are very, very powerful.”
Research suggests that a large concentration of sweets and fatty processed foods have powerful effects on hormone signals that control appetite. According to Peter Havel (an endocrinologist at the University of California-Davis) the more fat- and fructose-laden processed foods you eat, the less effect appetite control hormones have on the body. “These hormones help keep your body weight stable. When you drink beverages with lots of fructose the body continues to take in calories, but the hormones are not able to tell the body it is full and to stop eating. Many fast food meals are washed down with a large beverage.” How much fructose is in a soft drink? A large 64 oz soda contains 130 grams of fructose. By contrast, an apple contains 13 grams of fructose, a banana has 7, and a peach contains 4. But fruits are not only significantly lower in fructose; they are loaded with phytochemicals, nutrients and fiber.
Is it possible for a junk food junkie to change bad eating habits – for good? Is it possible to curb those cravings and cut those calories and still feel satisfied? The answer is YES! If you are hooked on fast foods, sweets and high fat snacks, start by eating more high-fiber plant foods, sugar from whole fruits and healthful plant fats. Calorie-dense refined foods such as fries and fudge may be tasty, but they do not fill you up and keep you satisfied because of their low fiber content.
So true! That’s why you can’t eat just one potato chip!!! So I don’t want to eat like that anymore. I want to eat and be filled – not eating and wanting more and more. So starting today I’m crawling back out of the junk food pit and starting my day with a green juice and some exercise. For lunch I’m having a very large salad – spinach, red bell pepper, carrots, broccoli, ripe green olives, and an avocado (that I mash up with spices and a little water to make a dressing). Dinner will be a small bowl of fruit or smoothie. I’m going back on a raw food fast. I don’t know for how long. I’m not assigning a number to it. I want to detox and clean out all the junk I’ve put into my body these past months. When I’m done I’ll reintroduce the unprocessed, cooked grains and lentils, etc.
Yesterday when I made this decision I reassured my husband that this would in no way be pushed up him. Poor Damon, in the beginning of our courtship and marriage I was the food police. We can’t eat that it has this in it…why would you want that it’s bad for your asthma…did you read the label…did you know there’s dairy in that? I thank God He finally got through to me and helped to understand that I cannot force-shame-manipulate my husband to eat the same thing as me. Food is a personal choice and a person must want to eat healthier foods all on their own. Otherwise you are just creating a worse condition for them. Think about it, if you want to eat something and you can’t have it – it makes you want it even more. One must realize there is something better and with that realization their mindset goes from a place of deprivation, saying I can’t have it, to thinking I can have it but I don’t want it. Actually Damon eats fairly healthy he’s just not as astringent as I am. For example I’m raw nuts only and he will eat the roasted (glycated, rancid…ahem…I’m on a journey). He needs a lot more calories than I do being 6’3” and with the metabolism of a gazelle. So I just have to remember I’m not supposed to be eating the same thing as him. He’s wanting to gain weight, I’m wanting to lose weight and we have to support each other.
I’ll update on FB as I go along. My goal is to eventually share all I’m learning in a series of classes at The Ark. Keep me in your prayers!